Cause of Male Infertility
Possible Causes and Risk Factors for Male Infertility
Male infertility can be caused by various factors such as hormone disorders, illness, injury to reproductive anatomy, obstruction or sexual dysfunction. These factors can temporarily or permanently affect sperm and prevent conception. Some disorders become more difficult to treat the longer they persist without infertility treatment. But there is hope. The first step of any successful treatment is the proper diagnosis of the male infertility cause.
Male Infertility Causes and Risk Factors
Is the failure of testes to descend; can impair spermatogenesis (the creation of sperm).
May cause absence of the seminal tract such as the epididymis, vas deferens, or seminal vesicles.
Certain drugs used to treat hypertension, arthritis, and digestive disease, as well as chemotherapy drugs are associated with sperm production problems and infertility.
This is most often caused by a vasectomy, but may also be due to repeated infection, inflammation, or a developmental defect that prohibits sperm transport.
Inflammatory infections of the prostate (prostatitis), epididymis (epididymitis) and testicles (orchitis), can cause irreversible infertility if they occur before puberty.
This occurs when impairment of the muscles or nerves of the bladder neck prohibit it from closing during ejaculation, allowing semen to flow backwards into the bladder. It may result from bladder surgery, a developmental defect in the urethra or bladder, or a disease that affects the nervous system, including diabetes. Diminished or "dry" ejaculation and cloudy urine after ejaculation may be signs of this condition.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Also commonly referred to as STDs; can cause obstruction, infection, and scarring.
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
There are approximately 10,000 new spinal cord injuries every year in the U.S. The majority of these injuries occur in healthy men of reproductive age (30 year old average), producing sexual and reproductive difficulties. Many factors may predispose spinal cord injured men to infertility. Ejaculatory dysfunction, abnormalities of sperm production, chronic infections and blockage of sperm within the male reproductive tract are all potential factors. Besides being a male fertility issue, spinal cord injuries could also cause some form of male sexual dysfunction.
Management of male infertility due to spinal cord injury includes a number of different methods to obtain sperm. Sperm retrieval is often combined with various forms of assisted reproductive techniques. Sperm can be obtained through vibratory stimulation to the head and shaft of the penis if the level of injury is T-12 or above. Rectal probe Electroejaculation (EEJ) or sperm harvesting along the ejaculatory path from the vas deferens, epididymis and directly from the testis are additional options. Learn more about sperm retrieval.
Systemic disease can cause a fever, infection, kidney disease or a metabolic disorder which can impair spermatogenesis (the process of creating sperm).
Testicular Cancer can limit or destroy the ability for spermatogenesis.
An injury, surgery, or infection can cause testicular trauma and trigger an immune response in the testes that may damage sperm. Though the effects are not fully understood, antibodies can impair a sperm cell's ability to swim through cervical mucus or to penetrate a female egg.
In order to understand what a varicocele is, one must be aware of some basic anatomy and physiology. The testicles are the paired male genital organs that contain not only sperm but also cells that produce and nourish the sperm. These organs are located in a sac called the scrotum. The epididymis is a small, tubular structure attached to the testicle. It is a reservoir where the sperm mature and are stored. The vas deferens connects the epididymis to the prostate gland and is the tube through which sperm travel during ejaculation. The vas deferens is not situated by itself but is a part of a larger tissue bundle called the spermatic cord. The spermatic cord contains many blood vessels as well as the vas deferens, nerves and lymphatic channels. The vein of the spermatic cord are known as the pampiniform plexus. These veins drain blood from the testes, epididymis and vas deferens, eventually becoming the spermatic veins that drain into the main circulation at the level of the kidneys. The pampiniform plexus of veins may at some time become tortuous and dilated much like a varicose vein of the leg. In fact, a scrotal varicocele is simply a varicose enlargement of the pampiniform plexus around the testicle. Dr. Bastuba offers varicocele treatment at MFS.
Dr. Bastuba performs all of these therapies. He works directly with female fertility specialists to optimize the fertility of both partners for a successful treatment. Dr. Bastuba's training, experience, and interest in male infertility and sexual dysfunction make him uniquely qualified to effectively treat symptoms and to assist couples in achieving conception. Sperm cryopreservation is also available to protect your future fertility.